Toronto calls in the superheroes to help with vaccinating young children against COVID-19. (Andrew DDownload the NBC News app for full coverage and full coverage about the coronavirus outbreak.)
In the midst of this unprecedented pandemic, we’re relying on science to inform our response—and to protect children.
The federal government called on experts to come together to advise and assist the public in this crisis, and on April 11, Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, wrote to ministers of health, the chief public health officer and other agencies to present their recommendations “to provide a comprehensive approach for reducing the impact on vaccine-associated disease and hospitalization.”
The experts gathered, including immunologist Jennifer Lees, infectious disease specialist Dr. Peter Donnelly of the Toronto Public Health and medical microbiologist Dr. Christopher Young of Queen’s University, were asked to answer two fundamental questions: “How do we prevent the spread of potentially harmful infections such as COVID-19 in children in daycare and in other settings?” and “How do we ensure that the vaccine is safe and effective for all children to whom it is administered?”
Their recommendations suggest that, if we’re going to protect children, we need to start the process of replacing outdated vaccines like MMR, which has been linked to an increase in autism, with more novel vaccines, such as the one made against COVID-19.
The WHO’s recommendations from its latest report on the COVID-19 pandemic are a testament to scientists across the world who have been working around the clock to help find a safe vaccine. “The scientific literature in the past few weeks has identified vaccine-associated immune responses to many infectious agents, including vaccine-preventable pathogens,” WHO said. “These responses are the basis for much of the protection the immune system provides in the face